Eddie Bravo is one of the most controversial figures in the history of combat sports and he embraces this role. Whether as a grappling practitioner, instructor, or event promoter, Eddie Bravo has had the unique ability to break the mold and inspired legions of students and fans with his evolution, or some say revolution within the fighting sports. Eddie Bravo is one of the true Renaissance spirits to have ever impacted the history of BJJ. As controversial as he is creative, he brings a rock n’ roll mentality to the sometimes traditional world of jiu jitsu.
Eddie Bravo’s achievements are many, but unlike some jiu jitsu athletes, the majority of them involve other athletes. He has participated in arguably one of the most famous grappling matches in history, against the legendary Royler Gracie in 2003. By shocking the grappling world by coming out of nowhere to defeat one of the favorites to win that year’s event, Eddie Bravo secured his place and used it to create his 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu Academy in California and begin spreading his revolutionary No Gi version of jiu jitsu around the world.
Royler Gracie and Eddie Bravo would meet again in one of the most anticipated rematches in jiu jitsu history. As the featured bout on Royler’s nephew Ralek’s Metamoris 3 event, the match would ultimately live up to the hype and the decade long anticipation. Though it would ultimately end as a draw, most viewers would agree that Eddie Bravo was dominant throughout the match. It has also been said after the fact that the match agreement featured a series of requirements that appear to be in the favor of Royler Gracie, namely the fact that Eddie was forced to wear gi pants which Royler was permitted to grab, while Eddie was not afforded the same opportunity.
With the goal of making jiu jitsu more modern and efficient, Eddie has established a curriculum and philosophy that focuses on No Gi grappling techniques designed to be effective in the MMA cage and competitive mats without relying on the historically important grips from the BJJ uniform.
As an instructor and coach, Eddie Bravo has also developed a number of 10th Planet black belts who have become high level compeitors and instructors in their own right. In addition to students like Denny Prokopos, the Martinez brothers and others, Eddie has been instrumental in the development of his black belt Joe Rogan and UFC champion Tony Ferguson.
As a promotor of the Eddie Bravo Invitational, Eddie has helped lead the charge and set the bar high for other submission grappling competitions and events His events have helped to showcase the talents of both his own students and others. His revolutionary rule set changes have also helped influence the development of the sport outside of his own tournament and events. Most recently, he has started the Combat Jiu Jitsu version of his competition, in which competitors are permitted to utilize open-handed strikes to their opponents.
Over the course of his career, Eddie has sometimes drawn the ire of jiu jitsu purists, but he has always acted respectfully and almost reverentially towards those who came before him. His primary critique is that jiu jitsu as he saw it had failed to evolve and relied too heavily on a uniform that wasn’t practical for mixed martial arts. Without that uniform, changes had to be made and that is what Bravo’s 10th Planet system proposed.
Outside of the jiu jitsu world, Eddie Bravo has also become an outspoken proponent of a number of world-shaking theories that regardless of your opinions show that Bravo is not one to back down from his ideas and this tenacity has helped change the course of jiu jitsu as we know it.
The move that Eddie Bravo first became famous for was ironically not a move he created, the Twister which he borrowed from his high school wrestling days. It would be this move that he would use as the cornerstone of his entire submission philosophy and build his 10th Planet system upon.
Eddie Bravo Biography
Eddie Bravo’s gravitation towards Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is not unlike the commonly heard stories of his day and certainly did not foreshadow his eventual impact on the sport that continues to the present day. Eddie was a high school wrestler who began studying karate in his teens. It wasn’t long before he experienced UFC 1 back in November of 1993 and like so many others, began to question the efficacy of the martial art he was currently practicing. This sense of doubt in the effectiveness of karate, led him to begin studying Jeet Kun Do and the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu mats and the academy of the legendary Machado brothers.
Eddie was an avid jiu jitsu student who would ultimately earn his jiu jitsu black belt from legendary instructor Jean Jaques Machado. Through that time, because of his love of the early UFC events and his friendship with fellow martial artist and public figure, Joe Rogan, he would become intrinsically tied to the world of mixed martial arts as a commentator and Coach/Instructor.
In 2002, Eddie would compete and win the ADCC North American Trials and earn himself a spot in the prestigious ADCC competition. It would be this competition which would ultimately be the pivotal moment of Eddie Bravo’s entire career. During that event, Eddie would meet the legendary Royler Gracie who was a past ADCC winner and the favorite to win in 2003. Eddie would achieve what many thought was an impossible task, he was able to catch Royler in a triangle submission and beat the unstoppable Gracie. Though he would be defeated in the next round by Leo Vieira, the course of Eddie’s rise to stardom was set.
The Ultimate Rubber Guard By Eddie Bravo is OUT NOW! Check out Eddie's complete system TODAY!
Having long believed that the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu had failed to evolve, specifically in the area of it’s approved uniform, the Gi, Eddie would ultimately gravitate towards the world of No Gi, until eventually developing his own curriculum of No Gi based techniques, he would call the 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu system. The 10th Planet name for his system and his academies around the world refers to what some believe is a 10th planet in our solar system known as Nibiru and the debate around its existence and the controversy make it the perfect symbol for the enigmatic Eddie Bravo.
Eddie’s home academy and affiliation of nearly 100 schools around the world would be the first to completely eschew the use of the traditional jiu jitsu uniform. Because of his plan of trying to take the foundations of BJJ and make them more applicable in an MMA setting, Eddie has attracted a number of MMA athletes, most famously being Tony Ferguson current UFC lightweight champion. Other notable students include Eddie’s first black belt Denny Prokopos, the Martinez brothers Geo and Richie, as well as his long time friend Joe Rogan.
As if defeating a living legend in Royler Gracie in the Super Bowl of grappling events, on the ADCC stage wasn’t enough and building and refining an entire system of No Gi techniques designed to escape the traditional methodologies of the jiu jitsu that came before, Eddie would once again turn his vision outward towards the competitive grappling arena and start his own event to showcase the best practitioners he can draw to his stages. The Eddie Bravo Invitational has become one of the premiere submission grappling events and has impacted the sport not only by giving competitors another arena in which to compete, but to also challenge the notion of the rules of the sport to promote an event that is both exciting to the fans and also eliminates the subjective and controversial aspect of judges decisions.
Eddie Bravo Explains the Philosophy Behind 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu
Digging into Eddie Bravo’s 10th Planet system can be akin to learning a new language. In interviews, Eddie has explained that much of the terminology and the names of his techniques and transitions are attempts to help he and his students remember and understand the positions better. The names are anything but traditional, with techniques like “The Electric Chair”, the “Vaporizer”, and “Stoner Control”, you can see Eddie’s creative and controversial thought processes at work.
Eddie Bravo Explains the Twister which he helped make famous.
Eddie Teaches His Electric Chair Position
Eddie Bravo Teaches the Rubber Guard to Rickson Gracie
In what will no doubt become a classic moment in the history of jiu jitsu and grappling, Eddie Bravo seizes a unique opportunity to share his philosophy of the “Rubber Guard” to living legend and Gracie family representative Rickson Gracie.
The body of Eddie Bravo’s competitive work is relatively small in comparison to some jiu jitsu athletes, but his impact is anything but small. Having won the 2002 ADCC North American Trials, he would find himself across the mats from one of the most feared of the Gracie Family members, Royler Gracie. Royler had never been submitted in competition and was favored to win his division in the ADCC competition that year. Eddie Bravo was able to catch Royler in a triangle choke in arguably one of the most famous BJJ matches in history.
Eddie Bravo Vs. Royler Gracie at ADCC 2003
In the video below, we see one of BJJ history's most famous matches between the relative nobody at the time, Eddie Bravo and the legendary Gracie competitor, Royler Gracie.
Eddie Bravo Vs. Royler Gracie 2 (Rematch at Metamoris 3)
In 2014, Bravo and Gracie would meet again on the Metamoris stage. It would arguably be the most anticipated match in jiu jitsu history. This was the opportunity for the 2003 favorite, Royler Gracie to prove that his loss to the relatively unknown Eddie Bravo was indeed a fluke. Conversely, it was Eddie’s opportunity to showcase the system he had developed and been refining for a decade.